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Content moderation

Safeguarding content through a human touch

Separate from our recommendation software, human moderators at Yelp help maintain our platform’s content integrity and quality. Using a research-driven process, we identify and halt attempts to deceive and misinform consumers — and protect businesses from unfair practices.

How to report reviews that violate Yelp’s guidelines

Reviews representing a wide range of voices and opinions are relevant and helpful to the community. Not all content, however, belongs on Yelp. To make Yelp a useful and safe platform for everyone, our policies prohibit conflicts of interest, hearsay, irrelevancy, or hateful content. Help us keep our community safe by knowing when and how to report a review.

Human moderation

Our User Operations team is dedicated to protecting the integrity of the content our community posts on Yelp. When a community member, business owner, or our automated systems alert our team about a potential issue, a real human reviews the case. 

Yelp Support Center

How do I report content that violates Yelp's Content Guidelines or Terms of Service?

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Search Engine Land

Yelp vs Google: How they deal with fake reviews

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Coordinated fraud investigations

Our User Operations team continuously seeks, investigates, and stops fraudulent activity through a variety of techniques, including removing bad actors from the Yelp platform.

Search Engine Land

Yelp cracks down on “review rings” as Google continues to see widespread map spam

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The New York Times

Buy Reviews on Yelp, Get Black Mark

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Business data verification

We work hard to keep business pages relevant, local, and trustworthy. This means taking steps to check that business information on Yelp — including additions and updates to Yelp Pages that consumers, businesses, or other partners make — is accurate. Since not all types of businesses are eligible to be listed on Yelp, our team of moderators also validate each new business that is added to the platform.

Yelp Support Center

What are the guidelines for general business information?

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Yelp Support Center

What are the guidelines for substantial business changes?

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Business categorization

When people turn to Yelp for searches that are critical and sensitive, it’s important that they find relevant information about businesses that truly offer what they’re looking for. Business categories listed on Yelp pages must accurately reflect the products and services that the business offers. Businesses are not permitted to include categories for things they don’t offer in order to attract certain consumers. 

Yelp takes steps to keep consumers from being misled in this way, including recategorizing or removing categories when we find that businesses have mislabeled themselves. For example, we manually reviewed over 2,000 businesses that were listed on Yelp as providing abortion services and recategorized those that don’t provide abortions as “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” or “Faith-Based Crisis Pregnancy Centers.”

Rewire News Group

Yelp Fixed Its Anti-Choice Clinic Problem. Why Can’t Google Do the Same?

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Frequently asked questions

What are Yelp’s Content Guidelines?

Hearsay and misinformation have no home on Yelp. Our Content Guidelines require that the information posted to Yelp be reliable, relevant, and based on first-hand experiences.

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How does Yelp handle hateful or derogatory content?

We do not tolerate hate speech, bigotry, racism, or similarly harmful language on Yelp. Any user can flag content like this for our team to investigate.

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Will Yelp remove a false or defamatory review?

We encourage our community to report reviews that violate our Content Guidelines and to include any information that our moderators can independently verify. However, we don’t typically take sides in factual disputes and generally allow Yelpers to stand behind their reviews.

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How long does it take for business information updates to be verified?

We monitor and evaluate changes to business pages every day, and they are typically resolved within 24-48 hours. More complex changes may require additional time.

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